Thanksgiving, Christmas Parties, and Seasonal Family Gatherings — these events should all have three things in common; Jesus, Smiles, and Cranberry Sauce! And right now I’m going to help you with the Cranberry Sauce part… Thanks to The Pioneer Woman’s “A Year Of Holidays” Cookbook, of course!
Recipe Modification: This recipe makes approximately 6 Cups of Cranberry Sauce. You can easily half this recipe and make 3 Cups, if you don’t need as much!
Time Managment Note: This Cranberry Sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge.
INGREDIENTS (makes about 6 cups):
24 ounces Fresh Cranberries
4 large Oranges
2 cups Pure 100% Maple Syrup
Start by rinsing the cranberries under cold water…
Next, dump them out for dryin’ and sortin’… I’ll explain…
*Housewife Hint: I lay a dishtowel in a sheet pan and dump the cranberries on the towel. The sheet pans edges keep the cranberries from rolling away, and the towel soaks up all the water.
Now for the sortin’… Sort through the cranberries and pick out all the ones that are mushy and shriveled… Also, pick out all the leaves and rogue stems… discard these. There shouldn’t be many.
Next, you’ll need to zest some citrus fruit; oranges preferably… Some people like lemon in their cranberry sauce… and thats okay, I guess… but I prefer orange. So, zest all 4 oranges!
Then cut the zested oranges in half…
… and squeeze out all of the gloriously fresh juice.
I ended up with about one and a half cups of fresh orange juice, and believe me… I had to fight the urge to drink it!
Now, add the cranberries to a medium-sized pot, and toss in the fresh orange zest…
… followed by the freshly squeezed orange juice.
… and the pure maple syrup. And, I beg you, please use real PURE Maple Syrup, this is very important to me… I’m talking about glorious amber tented PURE MAPLE, made from the boiled-down sap of actual maple trees. You can find Pure Maple Syrup at the grocery store. It’s normally close to all the “fake pancake syrups”… and by “fake syrup” I mean syrup made from high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial maple flavoring… don’t do it… just don’t. Please!
Give the mixture a good stir… and bring it to a gentle boil over over medium heat. Then, reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to to simmer, stirring occasionally, until it begins to thicken. This can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.
This is what mine looked like when it reached a gentle boil. The cranberries were just starting to break open…
… here’s what mine looked like after it had been on simmer for 7 minutes. The cranberries were breaking down nicely, but the sauce was still thin.
… and, finally, here’s what mine looked like after it had been on simmer for 20 minutes… I call this done! The cranberries were broken down to a desired consistency, and the sauce was nice and thick.
Transfer the sauce to a dish. It can be served chilled, or at room temperature… Additionally, it will keep in the fridge for several days, just cover it with plastic wrap or a lid!
I hope you love this recipe.
Cook Long and Prosper!
Love, the Uncustomary Housewife